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Neighbor of the Month: Robyn Bantel

Debin Bruce | Published on 11/1/2022

Robyn Bantel and her husband moved from the New York City area in February 2022. Having lived around the world, they were intentional about their search for where to spend their next life phase. They wanted a New England university town, with a good rail-trail network, that offered easy access to nature with lakes, parks, and hiking clubs. They wanted a community with an arts scene and a good library. Robyn said she almost cried when she saw Forbes and Lilly Libraries.


Growing up in a military family, Robyn lived in many different towns around the country. After college, with a Ph.D. in philosophy, she took off around the world. She lived in 11 countries, teaching for the Peace Corps, universities, governments, and nongovernmental organizations. One position was a six-year stint in Pakistan teaching English as a second language to refugees from the war in Afghanistan. As she said, there was a boom of internationalism beginning in the 1980s. “Every time I sought a new job, it turned out fine. I attribute that to knowing how to research new places. I enjoy the exploration and have learned to trust people.”


Robyn described Northampton Neighbors as a unique culture. “It’s an intentional community with a balance of giving and responsibility. The extent of services in Northampton Neighbors was a complete surprise to me. I am grateful to have settled here.” She has a lifetime habit of cleaning her neighborhoods, and was tickled to find an organized NN group of TrashWalkers. She has also enjoyed many other NN programs.